Older and Younger Graduate Students: A Comparison of Goals, Grades, and GRE Scores

Author(s):
Clark, Mary Jo
Publication Year:
1984
Report Number:
RR-84-05
GREB-81-17R
Source:
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
Adults age differences graduate students performance factors

Abstract

The 1980-1981 Graduate Record Examination General Test verbal and quantitative ability scores were examined for four age groups of test takers (those age 22 or less, 23-29, 30-39, and 40 or more), and two groups returning to graduate study many years after completing the bachelors degree. The ate returners were those 9-15 years beyond the baccalaureate, and those 16 or more years beyond the degree. Average verbal scores were about the same for all test takers regardless of age group or recency of undergraduate study; average quantitative scores were progressively lower across groups of increasing age or distance from the baccalaureate. Correlations between verbal and quantitative scores and first-year graduate school grades were about the same across age groups of enrolled students, suggesting that the scores were equally useful in pre- dicting the first-year graduate school grades of younger and older applicants. Undergraduate grade averages were lower for older than for younger students, and were less closely related to graduate school grades among the older student groups. Differences in fields of study, background characteristics, and attitudes toward test taking also are reported. Supplementary tables and the study questionnaire are included.

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